Charleston Man Formerly Arrested On Five Attempted Murder Counts PR’d Twice In Five Months

Jaelen Mikell Heyward, a 19-year-old man with a record of five arrests — a majority in relation to violent offenses — has been allotted two personal recognizance bonds on new charges in his most recent visit to the Al Cannon Detention Center. On 12/27/2018, Heyward was arrested on a total of five charges, three of which derive from Bench Warrants for failing to appear in court — Probation Violation ($20,000.00 bond; originally arrested November 19th), Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon ($5,000.00 bond; arrested November 15th) and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon ($10,000.00 bond; also arrested November 15th).

This is not Mr. Heyward’s first selection for PR bond release; following his October 2016 arrest yielding five Attempted Murder counts, Heyward was incarcerated — while serving a probationary period — in early August 2018 on charges of Assault and Battery 3rd Degree ($1,087.00) and Disorderly Conduct ($257.00); all were granted PR. Only three months following this booking, Heyward was jailed a third time on two felony weapons charges — Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon and Unlawful Carrying of a Weapon. A charge of Probation Violation ($20,000.00) was attained in immediate succession.

Heyward’s 08/04/2018 charge listing.
Attempted Murder charges attained October 2016, later changed to 1st Degree Assault and Battery.

This is now Charleston Jail Watch’s second incidence of reporting on Heyward, and it displays the dire nature of pretrial release and what it has become in the Holy City. Early this week, The Post and Courier failed in their piece to adequately document the influx of dangerous individuals being released every day from jail, all in the name of touting a drop in total arrests and jail alternatives for storytelling. Proponents of these initiatives, such as Deputy Chief Delmar Johnson, express their enthusiasm from mountaintops — “It gives us more freedom,” Johnson said, and “Unfortunately, before this program, sometimes would fall through the cracks and they would be in jail longer than they would be now that this system is in place. There are societal problems and we’re not going to be able to arrest our way out of them.”

We ask Mr. Johnson why his failure to maintain community safety is a topic of celebration — pointedly in the now two-time granting of PR to Mr. Heyward — or the multiple-time release of Joshua Dean Nix, a man with fifteen violent offenses and a five year prison sentence for wielding a military-style knife in his attack of four innocent bystanders in the parking lot of a West Ashley Piggly-Wiggly in November 2011. Both Nix and Heyward may be the most extreme of the pool of inmates released as a result of criminal justice reform, but they represent clear and imminent danger to our community, as they have been encouraged to commit more violent offenses against innocent people.

Joshua Nix newspaper headline following his stabbing rampage.
Nix’s charge information relating to his attack.

The Criminal Justice Coordinating Council’s public relations representative Kristy Danford may possess skills in spinning statistics to her advantage, but she will never publicly mention the names of Jaelen Heyward or Joshua Nix — she understands it is a failure of equality to lower-level inmates, justice and judicial ethics — because her own group has instructed our courts to release seasoned criminals, simply to brandish proposals to reign over our crime-sympathy collective at the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.